Mansfield Town player CJ Hamilton has joined the national effort against coronavirus by becoming an NHS volunteer and, in turn, is supporting his local community through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 25-year-old is one of 750,000 people who have signed up to become an NHS volunteer, and is now on call to deliver shopping and medicine to some of the country’s most vulnerable people.
“As soon as I saw the post, I clicked the link; I was really interested to just find out more and go out there and help people in this time of need if I could. The last thing NHS staff need is to be overworked and doing jobs people like me could help with and that’s the reason volunteers are important.
“I want to help, however that may be. The more people that volunteer, the more staff there are available to focus on getting people better, as well as free up hospital beds and equipment. That’s the main reason I signed up."
The London-born forward has played 40 games for Mansfield Town so far this season, but with the country currently being asked to stay at home and no football to be played, Hamilton is using his football experience on the frontline effectively, helping those in need along the way.
“One of the things I’ve signed up to do is doing the more vulnerable people’s shopping and dropping it off to their houses,” Hamilton continued.
"That will involve being sent a list of things to pick up from the supermarket and then going to their house and dropping it off. It’s the same with medicine from the pharmacy or the doctors, I’ll pick it up and take it to people’s houses, leaving it on the doorstep for them. I’ve also signed up to help with the transferring of medical equipment from hospital to hospital or wherever it’s needed."
Last week saw an overwhelming amount of support shown to the NHS, as the nation continues to come together in a time of need. After the Government's initial request for volunteers, the NHS received a phenomenal response from people offering their services, with an incredible 750,000 currently signed up to volunteer to help during this difficult time. Hamilton was happy to be one of them.
“I have grandparents in London who are obviously self-isolating at the minute. It upsets me that I can’t be there right now to help them or take them shopping - I’d love to be able to do that. Fortunately, I have family in and around the area who can do that for them.
"But I feel most sorry for the people who don’t have that support network around them at the moment. These people are stuck inside by themselves, they may not be able to get out to the big supermarkets and that makes me want to be there to help in any way I can. I want to know that these people will get what they need and will be okay. They shouldn’t be stressing over whether they’re going to get food or not.”
He was also quick to praise the work done by the NHS, as well as those offering their time to help.
“Initially, when the Government asked for 250,000 volunteers, I thought ‘are people going to be willing to do that?' But to see the numbers roll in and the amount of people that are willing to help us as a nation get through this horrible time has been amazing. It just shows what can happen when everyone comes together.
“It’s so important to help the NHS staff during this time, we need to help free up their time to focus on those that need it. We saw last week how much everyone appreciates what our medical staff are doing when the whole country came together to applaud them. The long hours they work, the difference they’re making to communities and the risks they’re taking to save others should be recognised and their bravery applauded.”
People all over the country, including its leading sports stars have issued a rallying cry for people to stay at home in the bid to combat coronavirus, uniting in supporting the NHS #StayHomeSaveLives social media campaign.
“It’s more important than ever to stay at home and not go out unless absolutely necessary,” Hamilton concluded. “I think the nation is together on that which is really important. We’re all in this together, no-one is on their one and we’ll get through it together and hopefully return to normality soon.”
Coronavirus (COVID-19): What you need to do
Stay at home
- Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
- If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times
- Wash your hands as soon as you get home
Do not meet others, even friends or family.
You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.
For more information, please click here.